Returned to lender The Met accepts temporary loans of art both for short-term exhibitions and for long-term display in its galleries.

Irises and Stream

Suzuki Kiitsu Japanese

Not on view

Iconic images of irises by Ogata Kōrin (1658–1716) were widely transmitted through their reproduction in woodblock-printed drawing manuals compiled by Sakai Hōitsu (1761–1828) and others in the early nineteenth century, and the motif became central to the Rinpa repertoire. In early Rinpa works, irises were associated with an episode from The Ise Stories (Ise monogatari), but by the late Edo period, along with other floral motifs favored by Rinpa artists, they had taken on a more naturalistic feel and become detached from literary associations. Here, the irises are buffeted by rain, as a water strider skirts across ripples on the marsh.

Hōitsu’s protégé, Kiitsu began his apprenticeship with the master in 1813, when he moved into the Hōitsu household. He was later adopted by Suzuki Reitan, a samurai who served the Sakai clan and a student of Hōitsu’s. Although Kiitsu emulated his teacher’s style, later in life he sought a fresher, more modern feel in his work, often employing a vibrant palette of purples, pinks, greens, and blues never before seen, even in the colorful Rinpa tradition.

Irises and Stream, Suzuki Kiitsu (Japanese, 1796–1858), Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper, Japan

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.